Weather Patterns

AAAS: Science Links
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



This lesson is the first in a two-part series on the weather. The study of the weather in these early years is important because it can help students understand that some events in nature have a repeating pattern. It also is important for students to study the earth repeatedly because they take years to acquire the knowledge that they need to complete the picture. The full picture requires the introduction of such concepts as temperature, the water cycle, and other related concepts. In the second activity, What's the Season, students identify the seasonal patterns in temperature and precipitation.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 1
  • Pre-Kindergarten
  • Kindergarten
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

Clarification Statement: Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); examples of quantitative observations could include numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
In this lesson, students keep daily records of temperature, precipitation, and wind. They plot their data and look for patterns of ups and downs without getting deeply into the nature of climate. To fully meet the Performance Expectation, this should be taught in at least two different seasons so that students have first-hand experience with weather patterns.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
This lesson series fully meets the Practice because students collect evidence derived from classroom observations in order to analyze weather data through the use of drawing and/or words to establish knowledge of patterns.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The Core Idea is implicit because more classroom discussion is needed on different types of weather. Teachers may need other materials such as books and video to fully explain the definition of weather. Depending upon which area of the country you live in, you may or may not have four distinct seasons. Teachers should also use other resources such as books or videos to demonstrate seasonal weather and related clothing.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The lesson encourages students to use what they know about weather and apply that information to patterns. Students should have paper and pencil and hands-on experiences with patterns prior to completing this activity. Pattern observation involved in this activity can include temperature, amount of precipitation, and wind. Activities could include keeping a weather calendar or graphing. Students collect observational data to discover and identify patterns over time. The understanding of the data and patterns allow students to predict seasonal conditions including temperature, precipitation.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson is designed to work in a two-part series. The first part of the series involves weather patterns. The second part, What's the Season, can be found at the following link: Both lessons fit together coherently to target and develop student proficiency in the Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, and Crosscutting Concepts.

  • Instructional Supports: Other resources such as books or videos should be used to fully meet instructional needs. The lesson engages students in authentic and meaningful scenarios that reflect the practice of science (e.g., making sense of phenomena). It allows students to build on prior knowledge to support the understanding of the Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts by identifying and building on students’ prior knowledge.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This lesson includes a student activity sheet and discussion questions for progress monitoring. The assessment involved in this lesson provide direct, observable evidence of three-dimensional learning.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There resource has not technological interactivity.